Thursday, July 19, 2018

Transitions: Hoof research innovator Renate Weller makes career move to corporate veterinary education

Renate Weller, RVC
Professor Renate Weller (center) of the Royal Veterinary College in the United Kingdom announced this week that she is leaving academia for a career in corporate veterinary education. Weller has been a magnet in the equine industry for her inclusive and inspiring dialogues with students, horse owners, farriers and the public. She is shown here during a demonstration for an equestrian group touring the RVC's Structure and Motion Laboratory where she conducts research. (RVC publicity photo)

Professor Renate Weller, Drvetmed, PhD, MScVetEd, ACVSMR, FHEA, NTF, ECVSMR, MRCVS, has announced her decision to leave her academic teaching role at the Royal Veterinary College (RVC), University of London in the United Kingdom.

Fran Jurga
Weller is currently professor of comparative biomechanics and imaging at the RVC, dividing her time between clinical work, research and teaching in large animal diagnostic imaging and locomotor biomechanics.

Beginning in November, Weller will fill the newly-created position of Director of Veterinary Education at CVS Group plc, the leading corporate group practice ownership firm in Europe. Weller will be overseeing the continuing professional development (CPD) needs of veterinarians working at more than 400 CVS-owned veterinary practices in the United Kingdom and The Netherlands.

"I am planning to offer CVS members a structured CPD program tailored to each individual‘s needs using a variety of channels," Weller shared.

Renate Weller, Director of Veterinary Education, CVS Group plc
Professor Renate Weller of the Royal Veterinary 
Renate Weller has created a new individualistic role model for veterinary leaders by touring the world to lecture and by mingling with her audiences and students. Her lectures are often challenging; she provokes her audiences to both admit the challenges they face in their work with horses, and propose how research and evidence-based veterinary medicine might improve the future care of horses.

"While I may change jobs, I will still be involved in farriery."

Much of Weller's work at the RVC has focused on the equine foot and her many accomplishments have included hoof research using advanced imaging, locomotion research, and innovative leadership in both including students and farriers in her research projects as co-authors, and developing an advanced academic program at a veterinary college exclusively for British farriers.

In 2018, this unique graduate diploma program in Equine Locomotion Research (GradDip ELR/UK) for farriers expanded to the United States; 20 farriers are now enrolled in a satellite distance-learning program administered by the RVC at Penn Vet's New Bolton Center.

Although she is leaving the RVC, Weller intends to stay involved in her signature farrier research program. "While I may change jobs, I will still be involved in farriery," she promised. "I have negotiated with my new and old employers that I will still be involved in the grad dip ELR, e.g., teaching, supervising projects. Obviously, this is very close to my heart!"

Weller's husband, Dr-Ing Thilo Pfau, PhD, Senior Lecturer in Bio-Engineering at the RVC's Structure and Motion Laboratory, and Amy Barstow, BVetMed, MRCVS, PhD, Assistant Lecturer in Clinical Skills at the RVC, will take over the day-to-day running of the course as director and deputy director, respectively.  The course will continue with the intake for new students for 2019-2020 in both the UK and USA.

Professor Weller, HoofSearch at Penn Vet
Professor Weller demonstrating the use of the HoofSearch equine lameness research index service to grad dip ELR/USA students at Penn Vet New Bolton Center in January.

Weller said she will also still be available for lectures and symposia.

"After 16 happy years at the RVC, I decided that it is time to move on," she wrote. "I had a great time and would like to thank all my colleagues and students for this."

In September, Weller will be installed as president of the British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA), during the 2018 BEVA Congress in Birmingham, England.

Royal Veterinary College logo
About the RVC: A college of the University of London, the Royal Veterinary College is the largest and longest-established veterinary school in the English-speaking world. The RVC operates from two campuses: one in Camden Town, London and a second, more rural setting with large animal hospitals in Hawkshead, Hertfordshire.

CVS Group plc

About CVS:
CVS owns over 460 small- and large-animal veterinary practices throughout the UK and the Netherlands. It operates four laboratories performing diagnostics services for the veterinary industry and seven pet crematoria. The Group also operates an online dispensary selling medicines, pet food and other animal related products. Three weeks ago, CVS announced an investment in TroytownGreyabbey Equine Veterinary Services in County Kildare, Ireland, adding another country to its portfolio.

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